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Awards for groundbreaking research on stroke

This year’s Karolinska Stroke Award for Excellence in Stroke Research has been awarded to Professors Michael Hennerici, Germany, and Markku Kaste, Finland.

The prize is to be bestowed at the Karolinska Stroke Update congress in Stockholm, Sweden, on 12-14 November 2006. A new study on thrombolysis treatment that was conducted simultaneously in 14 European countries will also be presented at the congress.

The international Safe Implementation of Thrombolysis in Stroke Monitoring Study (SITS-MOST) included 6,483 patients and ran from 2003 to 2006. The international coordinator for the study was Professor Nils Wahlgren at Karolinska Institutet. The researchers expect the results of the study, which is currently under publication, to be of considerable importance to the future application of stroke therapies.

Stroke affects 15 million people around the world every year. Of these, 5 million die and another 5 million are so debilitated by their symptoms that they are unable to cope on their own. One million people suffer strokes in the EU every year, 30,000 of those in Sweden. Given the predicted dramatic rise in the number of elderly people in Europe over the next few decades, scientists expect incidences of stroke to have increased by 50 per cent rise by the middle of this century.

Responding to this greater burden will require coordinated efforts in prevention, acute treatment and rehabilitation. Thrombolysis treatment is given within the first few hours of a stroke to dissolve the blood clots that are blocking part of the brain’s circulatory system.

The Karolinska Stroke Award was first awarded in 2004. The prize was established to reward ground-breaking contributions to stroke research.

Professor Michael Hennerici works at Heidelberg University in Mannheim, Germany. He is awarded the Karolinska Stroke Award for Excellence in Stroke Research for his studies of arteriosclerosis in the blood vessels leading to the brain and its links with stroke, and for the development of his ultrasound diagnostic and treatment techniques for the disease.

Professor Markku Kaste works at Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland. He is honoured for his leading role in the development of thrombolysis treatment, the first evidence-based treatment of stroke, and for his exceptional ability to put the results of his research into clinical practice.

Professors Markku Kaste and Michael Hennerici are internationally eminent researchers who are both deeply involved in different scientific organisations and collaboration projects. They are also the editors of medical journals. The prize is to be awarded by Susanne Eberstein, chair of the Karolinska Institutet University Board, at Berns in Stockholm on Monday 13 November. The prize money of 100,000 SEK (about 10,800 Euro) will be shared between the two prize winners.

Katarina Sternudd | alfa
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